As of every year, students in the 9th grade were assigned a family tree project where they must research their family histories and create a presentation over their research. This year there were two students whose projects stood out significantly. Mrs. Larson, the Social Science teacher who assigned this project, explained just how detailed these students had been with their projects. She picked the two in no particular order with no one being better than the other. Mrs. Larson goes on to say, “They went above and beyond on their family trees. […] I could tell that they had spent a lot of time on this project and did a lot of research into their family histories,”.
Firstly, there is Hannah Keller. Hannah started out this project motivated by her positive attitude. She explained, “Ever since I knew we would be doing this project, I was excited and eager to get started,”. On one side of her family, she was able to trace her family history all of the way back to the 1500s. Hannah explains how this project continues to motivate her by saying, “I definitely want to keep researching, to find out even more that I don’t know already,”.
Secondly, there is Ben Klemesrud. Ben Klemesrud had also come to share Hannah’s enthusiasm for this assignment. Throughout this project he had learned of the struggle his ancestors had been through such as polio, World War II, and the Great Depression. In Ben’s words, “I have come to understand that life has not always been easy for my family and I am very proud of the hardships we have overcome. […] This made me feel very proud knowing that my family can and will overcome struggles,”.
It is clear that both of these students have come to realize many things about their history and the grit of their ancestors. Both students were posed with a question asking about any and all interesting information they have learned through this assignment. Hannah Keller eagerly answered, “I have two grandparents that came from Norway. Their daughter, or in other words my great grandma, created a book for my Dad. It is basically like a story book with pictures and information about her father coming from Norway,”. This small token of history had been preserved by her family members throughout the years. Ben Klemesrud has also discovered that there is a church in Norway named after his father’s ancestors. He also discovered that one of his ancestors had flown B-17 bomber as a part of the Air Force. Overall, both of these students benefited greatly from this project. Instilling a new sense of family and history for the years to come.